Global Plastic Waste Pollution Challenges and Management

Zvanaka S. Mazhandu, Edison Muzenda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


Over 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste have been generated worldwide to date. These are alarmingly high levels and there are fears that if this situation is not addressed, the world will end up 'drowning' in plastic. Researches that have been done have revealed the ubiquitous nature of plastic because regions which were previously thought to be virgin (untouched) such as The Arctic have been contaminated with microplastics. Little is known about the effects of microplastics on human health. But what is clear is that they have landed on our tables, in the form of table salt or fish that we consume. Furthermore, graphic images have emerged of whales that have died from ingesting plastics as well as entanglement and suffocation of other aquatic animals. Plastic use has significantly increased over the years, mainly because it's a cheap form of material, it can easily be moulded and unlike paper, plastic keeps foods fresh for longer periods. Of late, there has been a growing trend of making less durable plastic materials which makes it difficult to reuse. These plastics are referred to as single use plastics and are said to account for 40% of all plastics manufactured. Statistics also show that from the total plastics produced globally, a meagre 9% has been recycled. The need to explore the use of plastics as an alternative energy source and for material recovery has become more urgent than ever in order to protect the environment and its inhabitants.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2019 7th International Renewable and Sustainable Energy Conference, IRSEC 2019
EditorsAbdelaaziz El Hibaoui, Mohamed Essaaidi, Youssef Zaz
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781728151526
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
Event7th International Renewable and Sustainable Energy Conference, IRSEC 2019 - Agadir, Morocco
Duration: Nov 27 2019Nov 30 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of 2019 7th International Renewable and Sustainable Energy Conference, IRSEC 2019


Conference7th International Renewable and Sustainable Energy Conference, IRSEC 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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